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Official working visit to Senegal and Ghana

Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga travelled to Senegal and Ghana from 5 to 9 July. Talks with both countries focused on climate protection. In Senegal, Ms Sommaruga signed a bilateral agreement on climate protection; a similar agreement between Switzerland and Ghana is already in place. She also took part in several bilateral meetings and a ministerial roundtable discussion in Ghana to examine joint initiatives to protect the climate and the environment. Both in Senegal and Ghana, she visited several energy and environmental project sites.

A look back on the working visit

Cocoa production

With its 800,000 smallholder farms, Ghana is the world’s second-largest cocoa producer. Switzerland imports 50% of its cocoa from Ghana. The cocoa industry is facing numerous challenges: the poverty of small farmers, falling production due to factors like climate change, deforestation and the loss of biodiversity. SECO recognised the cocoa sector’s challenges and launched the Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa together with 55 Swiss stakeholders in 2017. The aim is that 80% of imported cocoa should be sourced from socially, ecologically and economically sustainable production by 2025, thus improving the living conditions of cocoa farmers and their families. Switzerland has taken the lead through its active engagement with these issues: during her term as president in 2020, Ms Sommaruga discussed the challenges faced by cocoa farmers with Ghanaian President Nana Akufo Addo during his state visit to Bern. As part of her visit to Ghana this year, Ms Sommaruga met with stakeholders in the cocoa branch on 8 July, gaining insight into innovative sustainability solutions.